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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Just Say #ShellNo to the Master Plan for the Northwest: Connecting the Dots on the Anacortes Oil Train Proposal

Shell Oil recently threw in the towel on the Arctic, but they haven’t walked away from their master plan to turn Puget Sound into an extreme oil throughway. With the Artic plan on ice, Shell is turning their full attention to an oil train terminal they want to build at their Anacortes, WA, refinery. This plan would bring six oil trains a week from North Dakota and Alberta, Canada, filled with toxic, explosive crude.
Shell tried to keep the proposal secret because they know that no one else wants this master plan to work. But ForestEthics and our allies fought to make sure that the project gets the scrutiny, and opposition, that it deserves — and we won. Now it’s time for citizens to speak up for safety, for climate, and for Puget Sound and Say Shell No to this dirty, dangerous oil train plan. Since they’ve pulled out of the Arctic, their proposal to move crude by rail is even more critical. 
In February a judge rejected Shell’s claim that they would not need an environmental review of the terminal. County officials might have been fooled, but we were not. The judge agreed and required a full environmental review of the plan and the comment period is now ON. The review is an important step to engage the public, hold officials accountable, and demand transparency from the oil company. But transparency, accountability and public scrutiny are the last thing that Shell wants. 
This is your chance to speak out against this dangerous project.
The 100-plus car oil trains that Shell wants to bring to Anacortes carry as much as three million gallons of explosive, toxic Bakken or tar sand crude. This is extreme oil. That means more carbon pollution, more air pollution at the refinery and everywhere along the tracks, and millions more people, wildlife, and wild places in harm's way. The nation has watched five major oil train derailments and fires in 2015 alone. Oil trains are simply too dangerous for the rails.
The Anacortes rail terminal plan would bring one mile-long oil trains through dozens of cities and towns in Washington State and across our most important waterways. Oil trains would travel from Alberta, Canada, or North Dakota to Spokane where the rail lines run right through the center of town. From there oil trains bound for Anacortes would travel through the Columbia River Valley, along the Oregon border and then north to Olympia. Then through downtown Seattle and 70 more miles north to the final destination. 821,000 Washingtonians live in the blast zone — the one mile evacuation zone in the case of an oil train derailment and explosion.
The Shell Anacortes refinery itself sits on the shore of the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Reserve next to a great blue heron rookery and seal habitat. Shell’s plan means dirty crude traveling on dangerous trains along the banks of the Columbia River and shores of Puget Sound, then more dangerous barge and tanker ship traffic through Puget Sound.
With your help we can force Shell to account for the threat to public safety, drinking water, and wilderness that oil trains bring. We will stop the Anacortes oil train proposal. We will stop Shell’s Master Plan in its tracks.

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